The Open Roberta project continues the Fraunhofer-Initiative »Roberta – Learning with Robots«. For more than ten years, this initiative enabled girls and boys to explore the world of robots and to learn about computer science, natural sciences and technology (STEM). The aim of Open Roberta is to overcome technical and professional barriers for teachers and students alike. The free cloud-based Platform »Open Roberta Lab" can be used at any time from any device using standard Internet browsers.
Open Roberta Lab
The programming environment »Open Roberta Lab" enables children and adolescents to program Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots. A variety of different programming blocks are provided to program motors, sensors and the EV3-Brick. Open Roberta Lab uses an approach of graphical programming so that beginners can seamlessly start coding. As a cloud-based application, the platform can be used without prior installation of specific software but runs in any popular browser, independent of operating system and device.
Open Source Community
The programming platform Roberta Open Lab is a completely open source development. Both the software and the open source developer tools are available via Fraunhofer servers. In a first step, the development team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems reached out to teachers, IT and education experts within the Roberta-network as well as to Universities and their students to involve them in the development work. In the second step, the open-source community has been opened to all interested programmers and programmers. Following the main idea of the Roberta project, this should especially addresses female students and encourages them to become role models for the next generation of students.
Innovation through Cooperation
Open Roberta is supported by Google. Based on previous projects in 2013 developers of Google and Fraunhofer IAIS have considered together, how technical hurdles within Roberta courses can be minimized. A year later the development work at Fraunhofer IAIS started. For the development and dissemination of Open Roberta Google has provided a sum of one million euros. In the context of the project, Fraunhofer IAIS also continues its long-standing collaboration with LEGO Education. At the start of Open Roberta and to disseminate the initiative, LEGO Education supports Open Roberta with 160 Roberta kits.
Roberta – Learning with Robots
A robot lady captured the youth
The Roberta initiative aims to engage and motivate girls and boys to take a sustained long-term interest in information technology, technology and the natural sciences. The Roberta training concept defines "sustained long-term motivation" as simultaneously imparting cognitive knowledge – in this instance from the world of MINT topics – and positive emotions. Only if both are achieved at the same time do students learn – or phrased differently achieve sustainable results. With more than 30,000 children and young people in over 600 documented Roberta courses – Roberta is now a permanent fixture in the German education landscape! Over the past ten years the concept, which was developed by Fraunhofer IAIS, has inspired thousands of young people, particularly girls, to take a more active interest in science and technology.